The Worst Breakup Advice I Ever Received

Breakups are hard. During the aftermath, you may wonder if you’ll ever find love again. You may even begin to question your self-worth or go over everything that went wrong to see if you did something to contribute to the end of your relationship. One thing that can make a breakup even more difficult is getting awful advice. When you’re already confused, adding bad advice to the mix could lead you to make a decision you’ll end up regretting later.

The Cheat Sheet chatted with a few dating and relationship experts and asked them about the worst breakup advice they ever received. Here’s what they had to say.

Get even

woman in glasses looking up to drawings of lightbulbs

Don’t try to get even with your ex. |

Some people urge you to get even or act out your hurt and anger. That’s a big mistake. It makes you look like a bad guy (or gal). Use Michelle Obama’s advice (“when they go low, we go high”) and rise above it — at least in public.

Tina B. Tessina (aka Dr. Romance), Ph.D., psychotherapist and author of Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences

Stay friends

Rear view of a loving couple sitting on a rampart

Staying friends with an ex will just make it harder to move on. |

Some bad (amateur) breakup advice I’ve received has been to stay friends with the ex. Sometimes the advice is selfishly given, because they don’t want to lose the solid couple component from their friend group, and it may seem to make it easier for the people around you. They don’t understand that the feelings, especially if it was a bitter breakup, can linger for much longer than they may plan for or expect. Take your time, and more importantly, take your space from the ex, for as long as you need.

April Davis, owner and founder of LUMA Luxury Matchmaking

Pretend you don’t care

Pensive woman

You don’t have to fake your feelings. |

The worst breakup advice I ever received was, “Pretend you don’t care that he broke up with you and he will come back to you.” Well, guess what? That didn’t happen. Instead, I later found out that [my ex] initially regretted being so impulsive and was all broken up about us, but decided to stay the course because he thought that I was an uncaring and detached person. Meanwhile, I was heartbroken and disappointed.

Rhonda Milrad, licensed clinical social worker and founder and chief relationship advisor of Relationup

Start another relationship

Couple on the beach

Take time to process your previous relationship. |

The worst breakup advice I’ve ever received is to dive into another relationship to take your mind off of the partner who hurt you. However, when you leave a serious relationship, it’s time to regroup, ask yourself some significant questions, and do the inner work before getting out into the dating world again.

Rosalind Sedacca, divorce and parenting coach

Time heals all wounds

woman with a bike checking the time on her wristwatch

Time doesn’t necessarily heal everything. | Ammentorp Lund

Time doesn’t heal everything; sometimes things just hurt and you lack closure. Sometimes it’s best to move on. Another bad piece of advice that I’ve gotten is if you attempt to get closure it might make you feel better. Sometimes you won’t know what happened for years or ever. The best thing you can do is recognize your role and move on to a better relationship.

Stef Safran, relationship expert and founder of Stef and the City

Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo

[Editor’s Note: This story was first published November 2016.]